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Testflight has been a reliable source for developers to distribute and test builds of under development apps. But parent company Burstly’s recent acquisition (by Apple) and termination of Android support has left developers looking for alternatives.
A beta version of the app needs to be tested before actual publishing of the app but many platforms, particularly iOS can create a lot of hassles. In this article, we would be focusing particularly on Apple’s Testflight’s alternatives for developers across all platforms viz. IOS, Android and Windows.
1. HockeyApp [paid]:
Along with distributing the betas, it is a complete beta testing suite.
It’s an all-in-one suite complete with crash reports, analytics, and feedback built in. HockeyApp is the best way to distribute your betas and collect live crash reports for beta and release apps on Mac OS X, iOS and Android.
2. HockeyKit [free]:
HockeyKit is the self-hosted, open source version of HockeyApp. The drawback of HockeyKit is that its only available for iOS and Android as it has fewer features. But if something free and simple you want, then its a great tool for you.
3. Apphance [free]:
A tool that closes the feedback loop. If you want one tool for beta users to report problems and access to detailed reports on how to fix them, Apphance will be of great help to you. Great advantage about Apphanc is that it is free, it is cross-platform and even works when your app is live. You would be avble to confidently secure your app beta, encrypt app data, and even completely wipe a tester’s device afterwards.
4. AppBlade [paid]:
AppBlade is like the other tools discussed but with an added focus on security. You can secure your app beta, encrypt app data, and even completely wipe a tester’s device afterwards using AppBlade.
One more advantage about AppBladeis that it is available for another platform apart from the iOS, Android. It is also available for BlackBerry. AppBlade provides a suite of pro tools to deploy, test, manage and secure your mobile applications. AppBlade provides your developers and IT organization the tools they need to manage applications across.
5. Appaloosa [paid]:
Even though Appaloosa has a funny name, it means serious business. They make it easy to share betas internally or with a private group. Appaloosa is primarily targeted towards enterprise app developers, but there’s no reason a small team couldn’t use it.
Appaloosa is also multi-platform and available for iOS, Android, and Windows based devices.
6. Beta Builder [freemium]:
Beta Builder is bare bones when it comes to comparison with Apple’s TestFlight. As with TestFlight, you can distribute apps over the air but that is done without any fancy interface. Unlike TestFlight, enterprise ad-hoc distribution is free in Beta Builder. You can even limit beta testing in-house to prevent security issues.
The bad news about Beta Builder is that Beta Builder is available only for iOS apps. It also has a Mac app you can buy for an optional donation of $10.00; otherwise it’s free to use.
7. Google Play Native App Beta Testing [free]:
Android developers shouldn’t forget about the tool they already have in place by the very own Google.
If you’re developing an Android-only app, it may be easier to stick with the Google Play Console for beta testing. The slew of built-in features and access to a pool of testers via G+ communities make beta testing simple and effective.
8. TestFairy [Freemium]:
TestFairy helps mobile developers do better app testing by providing videos and heatmaps of the exact test that was done, as well as CPU, memory, batter and network stats.
You can consider any of the above tools as your favorite app beta tool.
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